Thursday, May 26, 2011
The Ghosts of Fort Morgan
The Fort Morgan area has become a vacation spot. Its beaches sit overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and tourists come from all over to watch the Dolphins and dip their toes in the sand. The sands of Fort Morgan carry an older, forgotten history, however. Most tourists will never know that the sands they play in were once soaked in blood.
Fort Morgan began construction in 1812 and was finished in 1834 and was widely regarded as the "finest example f military architecture in the New World." The fort was constructed in a unique star shape that made it easier to defend. Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines sat on opposing sides of Mobile Bay and acted together to close the Bay off and defend the waters.
Fort Morgan saw heavy fire during the Civil War. I was used defensively by the Confederates and was also a starting point for blockade running ships. The Union took the Fort during the Battle of Mobile Bay. After Fort Gaines fell, Union soldiers laid siege to the fort an set the wooden parts of the fort on fire. Many men died in this battle and the Confederate soldiers did not meet happy ends.
It is not surprising that this old Fort has more than its fair share of ghosts. It has a long history filled with war and fire. The old barracks are said to be one of he most haunted portions of the fort.. In 1916 or 1917 a prisoner hung himself in the barracks. According to local lore, you can still hear the hanging man cry late at night. He is not alone in his sorrow. During the Civil War, a bomb went off in the fort and several men met a horrible fiery death. The bomb went off in a room with a big fireplace and they say you can still hear the men screaming at night.
The final ghost comes from an unconfirmed story of woe and sorrow. They say that some time in 19th a young woman was drug into the fort by unknown men. The woman was beaten, raped and murdered. According to legend, she still wanders the Fort looking for justice.
Oddly, I've been to the beaches at Fort Morgan on many occasions, but never visited the old Fort. I hope to fix that mistake this summer on my visit. The very shape of the old fort seems to lend itself to ghosts stories and call to spirits to stay and linger. I can't believe I missed this little gem.